How to do an elegant French braid updo: Video tutorial

Updo and French braids? The chicest and simplest combination to wear right now. 

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side view of a brunette model sticking her tongue out with her hair in a french braided bun updo wearing a yellow floral dress against a pink background



What do you get when you combine a well-loved classic, the French braid and make it into an updo? The French braid updo is a really versatile look, bringing all the practical elements of braided styles (long-lasting, protective, good for greasy hair days…), with the all-around gorgeousness of an updo.

If you’re currently thinking “guys, I can’t even do a French braid, let alone a French braid bun updo”, we’ve got both a video and step-by-step instructions (below) to help you turn those can’ts into cans.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your hair band and your bobby pins, and let’s get started!

How to nail the French braid bun updo


Apply dry shampoo.

Ready to take on the French braid updo? Start by refreshing your roots with the TONI&GUY Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo. This will soak up any dirt or excess oils, while also giving you more grip for braiding. 

brunette model spraying toni & guy dry shampoo into her roots wearing a yellow floral dress

Section your hair.

Next, using a comb section off your hair by creating a diagonal line from your crown down to your ear. Clip to one side using a sectioning clip and repeat on the other side.

back view of a brunette model with long straight hair clipped into sections

Create a bun.

Taking the remaining hair, twist it into a bun by wrapping it around on itself. Secure with bobby pins, so that it stays in place. 

close up view from behind of a brunette model wrapping her hair into a bun

Start your French braid.

Unclipping one of the front sections of hair, take a small section of hair and divide this into 3. Start braiding as you would a normal braid, crossing the outside strands over into the middle. Then, to turn it into a French braid, start pulling in more hair from either side as you work.

Continue this until you reach your neck and no longer have any more hair left to add in.

close up of a brunette model holding three pieces of hair about to start braiding her hair

Finish up with a normal braid.

Once you’ve reached your neck, finish braiding down to the ends of your hair using the regular 3 strand braid method.

close up profile view of brunette model french braiding the front section of her hair

Secure and pancake.

Use a clear hair elastic to secure your braid, then use your thumb and index finger to gently pull on (or ‘pancake’ as it’s called) your braid. This will make it appear fuller and more plumped-up. 

close up of a brunette model pancaking (pulling apart) her braid to make it fuller

Wrap the braid around the bun.

To pull the look together, wrap the braid around the bun and lock in position using bobby pins.

close up view from behind of a brunette model wrapping a french braid around a bun and pinning with a bobby pin

Twist the remaining section of hair.

Roll the remaining loose section of hair into a twist and then, wrap this around the bun too and secure. 

close up view from behind of a brunette model twisting the front section of her hair and wrapping it around a bun

Finish with hairspray.

To ensure your French braid bun updo lasts, finish up the look with a good spritz of the  TRESemmé Ultimate Shine Hold Hairspray . It brings an instant shine to the style and makes it look that bit more polished. 

view from behind of a brunette model with her hair in a french braided bun spraying it with tresemme hairspray

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